If you are thinking of hiring an SEO expert, it’s common sense to hire someone with real credentials, not someone who has just spammed your inbox.
But when it’s not so obvious, how do you separate the greats from the bad ones? Here are some pointers to look out for.
1. Stay away from those who offer ‘guarantees’ for ranking on top of Google
No matter what some may say, the simple fact with SEO is that there are no guarantees. So when an ‘expert’ promises top ranking results in 2 weeks this is more likely to be a red flag than a testament of their expertise.
SEO is a young industry and up until now remains partly a careful process of trial and error. No matter how amazingly enticing it may sound, do yourself a favour and stay away from anyone who swears on delivering a top result.
2. The professional insists on an audit
The professional will first want to conduct an audit of your website. This is one of the first signs of someone who knows what they are doing. A qualified SEO person is aware that unless one knows exactly how the site in question fares (how well it can be crawled or indexed etc.) on Google, there is really no way of improving it.
3. The professional does not mind when you ask questions
As a client, it is your right that you ask questions about what the SEO expert you hire thinks about your site and what he plans to do with it. The professional expects this and will not be reluctant to open up about his strategies. You’d find that most SEO experts actually likes teaching his client a thing or two about his art!
4. Communication rules
It is important that the professional or firm you hire is open to communication. Regular updates on what is happening on your sites’ front are important. After all that is what you will be paying them for.
5. Stay away from Blackhat techniques
Keyword stuffing, fake reviews, false backlinking, suspicious “short cuts” that don’t contribute to overall website usability. They don’t work. Anyone who promises you results with Blackhat techniques is not worth it. Google deals tough penalties on websites that have been up to no good so make sure you don’t take the risk.
6. Proven track record
Before hiring an SEO professional to help you, make sure you find out whether his track record is positive. Happy clients are more likely to give good referrals.
7. Doing it yourself
Don’t be afraid to tackle your own SEO. It may sound like an enigma, acronymn and all, but optimizing your website yourself can be a hugely rewarding experience.
There are thousands of tutorials, videos and articles available. If you are a beginner, take it one step at a time, trying to grasp everything at once will be quite overwhelming. Start with simple things and make changes to your website gradually.
If you do not feel confident enough to take the plunge with your real website, create a sandpit website that you can experiment with first.